I believe so but it does depend on the effect.
Still, each spectator will have their individual opinion as to which effect was better or more entertaining.
* Performing a Smash and Stab routine with 52 cups isn't going to be more impressive than using 5 cups and just may actually become a bit mundane.
* Performing a, "Pick a number 1-4" can be as impressive as a "1-1000" like when using cards such as in Twisted Sisters.
*Performing a, "1-3" effect with three different subjects like colors, shapes and sizes could be just as or more impressive than a "1-300" prediction.
Good post, EZrhythm, and glad you agree.
Many of the top magicians and mentalists use effects that are only 1 in 3, etc....
In another site, this same debate is going on because a 'world class mentalist' has a new trick that is only 1 out of 4. Some say this isn't that impressive while others say it is.
I think it all depends on what type of effect it is, what type of routine you're using, what type of show (stage, 1 on 1, etc....). You gave great points on why 'less is more' such as with your 'smash and stab' example. Sometimes for a stage show, for example, you need to have things visible and too many of something may not be that visible since it would probably be small. So, with just a few of something, that something can be bigger and so more visible. And if you have too many, then as you also said, it may become too long of an effect and people could get bored. With just a few, it could flow quicker and so people won't get caught up in boredom (and could also follow what's going on better, if it's to complicated, then they might miss something and then the whole effect may be meaningless to that person/people).
I think, too, that too many magicians/mentalists get caught up in magicians thinking and simple looking effects aren't that great anymore. They're looking for a more complicated, 'harder to achieve the desired results' type of effects but to a layperson (which, in most/all cases, will be your audience), they're (the layperson) are simply watching to see if the magician/mentalist will be correct because as I said in my first post when I started this thread, a layperson will be thinking that the magician/mentalist 'has' to be correct and that is so important to remember and so simple looking or not (1 in 2 chances of being correct, 1 in 3 chances of being correct, etc...), the fact is (and as already mentioned but very important), the magician/mentalist has to be correct. Always remember this, a layperson will be watching a magic/mentalist show much differently than a magician/mentalist (and you can still amaze magicians/mentalists if they can't conclude on how you performed an effect, whether it be a simple looking effect or not).
In conclusion, there is a reason why many of the top professionals in magic/mentalism use the simpler effects. Sometimes, less really means more.